Pete Rose played baseball with a singular and headfirst abandon that endeared him to fans and peers, even as it riled others--a figure at once magnetic, beloved and polarizing. Rose has more base hits than anyone in history, yet he is not in the Hall of Fame. Twenty-five years ago he was banished from baseball for gambling, then ruled ineligible for Cooperstown; today, the question "Does Pete Rose belong in the Hall of Fame?" has evolved into perhaps the most provocative in sports, a layered, slippery and ever-relevant moral conundrum.
"Good book, not so good production."
Seventy baseball seasons ago, on a May afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Joe DiMaggio lined a hard single to left field. It was the quiet beginning to the most resonant baseball achievement of all time. Alongside the story of DiMaggio's dramatic quest, Kennedy deftly examines the peculiar nature of hitting streaks and with an incisive, modern-day perspective gets inside the number itself, as its sheer improbability heightens both the math and the magic of 56 games in a row.
"Rough start but worth it..."
The New Rochelle High School team in suburban New York is like many across the country: a source of civic pride, a manhood workshop for a revered coach, and an emotional proving ground for boys of widely different backgrounds. In the fall of 2014, New Rochelle's season unfolded alongside watershed NFL head injury revelations and domestic abuse cases (remember Ray Rice?) as well as fatalities on nearby fields. The dramatic story of that season, for players, parents and coaches, underscores fundamental questions.